Thursday, February 19, 2015

If I Picked the Oscars

Sorry, I know I haven't blogged in ages. It may seem counter-intuitive that what's happening outdoors affects what's happening indoors (and in my brain), but it totally does. This weirdo white world I now live in makes everything so much harder, and I feel slow and stupit.

And then, and then. There's the fact that this is, ostensibly, my weight loss blog, and I have utterly nothing to say on that topic, other than to berate myself for being a failure. My knees hurt all the time, I am tired, tired, and my weight shoots up up up. I'm not exactly back where I started . . . but the number is too close for comfort.

Something's gotta give, but it won't be today — I just shoveled a ton of snow and broke up an ice bank with a hammer and I'm exhausted.

But in happier news . . . it's Oscar time!!!!!

(Note: In case you're crying into your tea because you weren't invited to my Oscar Party this year, no worries — I plan to have a Hollywood Game Night instead, after the snow has melted and there's room to park on my street again. In other words: Not any time soon. Stay tuned!)

I've seen almost every major nominee, and I'm still hoping to make it to Two Days, One Night before Sunday because I love Marion Cotillard so much — and it also sounds like an interesting movie — though my friend D in Dallas said, "I saw Two Days One Night Last Night {how's that for symmetry?}, and while I thought it was a very good film that gives you plenty to think and talk about, I can also say that it is very stressful to watch. I felt that I needed antacids and a Xanax (plot point) by the time it was over," and that does give me pause. I made it through American Sniper and Still Alice; just how stressed-out do I need to be?!

(D in D added, "My friend and I both thought the family in the movie spent way too much money on take-out food and bottled water for people who were broke, but that is off topic, and we are judgmental," which I find hilarious.)

Here we go!

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything 

Wow, I saw all of these! And they are all very well made, well-acted movies, and I more or less enjoyed all of them. But the clear winner, to my mind, is Boyhood. It  . . . I almost don't have words. I think it is practically perfect. A small, sweet, near-perfect slice-of-life movie that has stayed with me for a long time.

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything 

I'm kicking myself because I missed Foxcatcher and I really wanted to see it. Love Steve Carrell, and of course Mark Ruffalo is my spiritual boyfriend. Alas. I saw the other four, and every actor did a magnificent job — I would truly be fine with any of them winning. But I give the edge to Eddie Redmayne, who created such a fully human character on that screen — so much heart, so much humor, so much more than a gigantic brain and a tragic disease. Bravo, Eddie Redmayne, you adorable boy!

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night 
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamond Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild 

There is no question that Julianne Moore deserves the award that it is almost 100 percent certain will be bestowed on her Sunday night. I really loved Still Alice, and she is magnificent.

Having said that, I'm a little sad for Reese, who delivered a confident, grown-up, excellent performance after a string of disappointing movies. But Reese has an Oscar and Julianne doesn't (yet), and all will be well.

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Emma Stone was the second-best thing about Birdman and Laura Dern radiated warmth and maternal love, but Patricia — man, she knocked my socks off. Crazy-good performance. She's my pick.

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
My Spiritual Boyfriend Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash 

This is the category I'm least prepared for, having missed two of these movies — and it's another place where I feel bad for the non-winners. Edward Norton was my favorite thing about Birdman; I was so happy every moment that he was on the screen. And I usually dislike Ethan Hawke enormously, but he is so so SO GOOD in Boyhood, easily as good as Patricia. It's really sad that she's getting so much more buzz than he is. It is totally J.K.'s fault, but I can't be a hater, because J.K. is perfect in Whiplash.

Other Oscars
I don't have strong feelings about any of the other categories, though I'll be delighted if "Everything Is Awesome" wins Best Song! (which it probably won't) We saw all the nominated animated shorts, and the Chardonnays are all rooting for "Feast," though we greatly admire "The Dam Keeper" as well.

Mimosa and I will start watching around 5 p.m.** on Sunday, cocktail/mocktail glasses in hand, and a variety of exciting and elegant snacks spread before us. (Then again, "exciting" may be in the eye of the beholder; I'll never forget the year that Brunie joined us, asked to try a smoked oyster, then blanched and tried to hide half-chewed oyster in my drapes.)

Fun fun fun!! I love movies! I LOVE the OSCARS!!!!

— Lady C, a Hollywood girl

** Mimosa is reading over my shoulder and she yelped, "Five p.m.???!!!" I said, "I want to watch people arrive." She said, "Yeah, me too, but not for THAT LONG."

Philistine. I shake my head.

Here, by the way, are two Oscar dresses I adored from years past. The bottom half of Halle's is kinda weird, but I love the top half so much, I have no quibbles. And Catherine's got very little buzz that year; it was the year of Bjork's swan dress and Julia Roberts' Oscar win. Everyone talked about Julia's dress, which I hated; all I could see was white bias tape edging everything. To my mind, Catherine's is a perfect Oscar dress.